Above: Dominica (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Dominica will soon introduce a bill to Parliament that would amend the country’s constitution to accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice, according to the government.
Tourism and Legal Affairs Minister Ian Douglas will introduce the bill which, if approved, would change the constitution to replace the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice as Dominica’s Final Court of Appeal.
“We believe that the Caribbean Court of Justice is the best thing for justice in Dominica and justice in the Caribbean. It will allow for greater access to the courts,” Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in a statement. “We believe that it will cause there to be a greater justice for all our citizens in Dominica and the Caribbean and it is a mature move, it is a responsible move, it is a progressive move and it is a move towards gaining our full and outright independence as a people, as a country and as a region.”
Dominica recently alerted the United Kingdom of its intention to switching to the CCJ, a proposal to which the UK did not object.
More regional countries have expressed a desire to accede to the court, although only three: Barbados, Guyana and Belize, have fully acceded to the CCJ, which is seated in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Last month, CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque urged the countries of the region to make the move to the CCJ.
“There can be no doubt of the Court’s ability to render well thought out and reasoned judgements that can stand the scrutiny of its most ardent detractors,” LaRocque said at the time.